In March of last year, Miami-Dade Fire Captain Nick Marian of Miami Shores, Florida, answered a knock at his door and the ringing of his doorbell. He lives in a rough part of town, and came to the door with a shotgun in hand. Police say they saw him pick up a shotgun from his couch and answer the door.
Prosecutors contended that he pointed the shotgun at the police officers for “more than a second” and that he knew that it was police officers at his door. His defense was that he had the right to protect himself, his actions were reasonable and prudent, and he had immunity under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Captain Marian’s arguments won the day.
A judge dropped charges Wednesday against a Miam-Dade Fire captain who was arrested for pointing a gun at a police officer.
Nicholas Marian, 55, was granted Stand Your Ground immunity in a bizarre encounter with a Miami Shores police officer. Fellow firefighters who had been rallying behind Marian were at the courthouse celebrating the ruling.
The entire process, from the incident to the judge dismissing the charges took nine months. Prosecutors had charged the fire captain with aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer. The judge ruled otherwise.
Bringing a gun to the door is prudent in numerous circumstances. It’s difficult to know if someone at your door is a police officer or not. Many criminals facilitate their crimes by yelling “Police!” during home invasions.
In this case, it only took a few seconds for the fire captain to determine that the people at his door were police officers. When he did, he cooperated.
The idea that citizens have to disarm themselves because someone at the door might be a police officer is repugnant to the rule of law.
This incident had a better outcome than the Gabriel Mobley case. Mobley was in the courts for six years before he was finally cleared. That case went all the way to the Florida Supreme Court before Mobley was finally vindicated in 2014.
Perhaps the judge hearing the case against Marian referenced the supreme court ruling in favor of Mobley.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.